Off the back of a dismal second half Champions League performance against Sevilla, Liverpool will hope to bounce back in a huge clash against Chelsea. With previous meetings particularly feisty and enthralling, this meeting promises a lot.
Last Meeting: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea (31st January 2017)
The two sides shared the points last time at Anfield, as Gini Wijnaldum’s second-half header cancelled out a free kick stunner by David Luiz. In truth, the Reds were lucky to come away with a point as Diego Costa’s penalty was saved by Simon Mignolet.
The win meant that Chelsea maintained a ten point lead over the Reds at the top of the table, while Liverpool continued their unbeaten record against Top 6 sides. Chelsea became unbeaten on their last six visits to Anfield in all competitions after this result – showing the consistency of their performances away to Liverpool.
Liverpool could go above Chelsea with a win against the Champions – moving into 3rd place if other results go their way. Chelsea have maintained a strong start to the season, aided by the signings of Álvaro Morata and Tiémoué Bakayoko in particular.
Last time out in the league against West Brom, Eden Hazard entered top gear scoring twice and looking back to his best. Playing as a second striker to Morata, Hazard has been unleashed by Antonio Conte who has switched his regular 3-4-3 to a 3-5-2, with Kante, Fabregas and Bakayoko the key men in midfield that keep everything ticking.
The Key Battle: Mohammed Salah vs Gary Cahill
Mo Salah has been a revelation on Merseyside this season and with the prospect of him facing his former employer he will be raring to go this Saturday. Having already beaten Coutinho’s 14 goal tally from last season, Salah’s 15 strikes in all competitions and nine in the league have shown the stellar piece of business the reds did this summer.
At Chelsea, Salah struggled for game time but also to adapt to the league, he was weak on the ball and the constant pressure broke him. However, he’s returned to the Premier League and shown everyone what he’s capable of. Featuring on the right-hand side of the Liverpool attack, the Egyptian will be tasked with attacking Gary Cahill’s side of the back three on Saturday.
Adam Lallana should return to the bench for this match, having been absent from the previous two matches but back from injury and looking sharp in training. Joel Matip also returned to training this week and is in contention for a starting place against Chelsea.
As for Chelsea, Victor Moses remains absent with a hamstring injury meaning that Davide Zappacosta will maintain his place in the side.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Mignolet, Gomez, Klavan, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Milner, Coutinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge; Salah.
Chelsea (3-5-2): Courtois, Zappacosta, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Alonso, Bakayoko, Kante, Fabregas, Hazard; Morata.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea